Would students benefit from a bit more encouragement to get up in the morning for lectures? Academics in the US are debating a decision by Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff to introduce a monitoring system to check when students attend, or miss, class. Sensors will detect students’ identification cards when they enter the lecture theatres. If they don’t turn up often enough, they could find it reflected in their grades.
“People are saying we are using surveillance or Orwellian [tactics] and, boy, I’m like ‘wow’, I didn’t know taking attendance qualified as surveillance,” NAU’s spokesman, Tom Bauer, told the Badger Herald website. Here are some contributions on the subject from Dave Farber’s Interesting People email list thread: